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What Causes Extrinsic Stains on Teeth?


Though our teeth are typically yellow or grey, a white grin is nearly unanimously seen as desirable. However, our teeth can become stained with time, prompting many to look for ways to whiten them and keep them from becoming stained again.

And when most people think of tooth staining, they likely think of extrinsic staining or discolouration of the outside layer of your tooth enamel. The Polar Smiles Teeth Whitening Kit and Colour Corrector will help remove those nasty stains. 

What are Extrinsic Stains? 

Speaking of extrinsic stains are those that appear on the surface of a tooth and are caused by the ingestion of foods and beverages containing pigments, such as coffee, tea, and caramel colouring. Smoking can also cause extrinsic stains (tar stains). 

Extrinsic stains can usually be polished and bleached away. Simply put, extrinsic stains are caused by external substances

What Causes Extrinsic Stains in Teeth? 

1. Tea

Extrinsic Stains From Tea

Teas contain tannins which naturally discolour teeth and gums. They are found in many black, green, and herbal teas. Green tea leaves a dull grey stain on teeth, while black tea leaves a yellowish tint, but herbal teas such as hibiscus can also cause staining and discolouration if consumed regularly over time. 

Meanwhile, adding milk to tea substantially inhibits the tea’s capacity to stain teeth. Casein, which is one of the significant components of milk, is said to be responsible for reducing the tea-induced discolouration of teeth.

2. Coffee

Extrinsic Stains From Coffee

Extrinsic staining, which damages the enamel’s outer layer, is the most common type of discolouration caused by coffee tannins.

When you drink coffee, the tannins penetrate your pores, leaving heavy stains behind. In addition, because coffee is acidic, it can erode the enamel over time, resulting in additional colours.

Coffee drinkers frequently experience teeth discolouration and yellowing. Interestingly, many teas contain roughly twice as much tannin as coffee.

3. Fruit Juice

Acidic fruits, such as grapefruit and oranges (especially orange juice), can discolour your teeth prematurely. In addition, the acid erodes the enamel, making teeth more prone to staining. Avoid lemonade, lemons, and limes as well.

Use a straw to avoid stains when drinking beverages such as fruit juice, soda, and tea. This allows the liquid to travel between your teeth, preventing staining—brush after rinsing. Contrary to widespread opinion, brushing immediately after drinking something acidic is more detrimental to your teeth.

4. Red Wine

Extrinsic Stains From Red Wine

Red wine, like coffee and tea, contains tannins that cause discolouration. After just a few sips, onlookers will notice red stains on your teeth.

If you’re self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth, drink red wine at the end of social gatherings or entirely abstain so you don’t feel self-conscious all night.

Interestingly, red wine can discolour your teeth in the short and long term. You can use the Polar Smiles Teeth Whitening Kit and Colour Corrector to remove the unwanted stains. 

5. Curry

Extrinsic Stains From Spicy Curry

Curry is famous these days. It’s in Indian dishes, foods from all over England, rice dishes of all kinds, and more. But, unfortunately, curry is terrible for your teeth. You will almost surely develop orange or yellow tooth colour if you consume curry. As a result, it is critical to brush your teeth after eating.

Meanwhile, a curry dish with green leafy vegetables will help keep the stain at bay. After eating a curry, rinse your mouth with water and wash your teeth for 30 minutes to remove the stain. We do not advocate avoiding curries because they are lovely.

6. Spicy Foods

While spicy meals will not harm your teeth, they may produce acid reflux, eroding your tooth enamel. Teeth are acid-sensitive, and even acids with a relatively high pH will destroy teeth.

Furthermore, because of highly coloured ingredients such as turmeric and saffron, many spice blends rank high in staining power. As a result, their pigments might leave a yellowish tint on your teeth over time. 

Unfortunately, the yellowish tint, just like every other stain, makes it hard to put a smile on your face. 

7. Smoking and Vaping

Of course, this list won’t be complete without it. Tobacco smoke contains nicotine and tar, which produce yellow or discoloured teeth.

Meanwhile, even if you don’t smoke a pack a day, regular tobacco usage will discolour your white teeth yellow or brown. The more you smoke, the more quickly you may see tooth yellowing.

Brushing your teeth consistently is one technique to make them look better. This not only reduces discolouration but also helps to prevent gum disease. It is also beneficial for smokers to use an effective teeth whitening kit from Polar Smiles.


Can extrinsic stains be prevented? You can avoid these tooth stains by always practising proper oral hygiene – including brushing your teeth  daily with the Polar Smiles Teeth Whitening Kit or Colour Corrector, flossing your teeth once every day, and always coming in for your 6-month dentist check-ups. 

Treating Extrinsic Stains

Can extrinsic stains be treated? Yes! Unlike intrinsic stains, extrinsic stains are relatively permanent. Though they are fairly permanent, they do not respond to your traditional brushing. This is why using an effective tooth-whitening product such as the Polar Smiles Teeth Whitening Kits is your best bet. 

Polar Smiles Teeth Whitening Kits

Extrinsic stains can also be treated using porcelain veneers. Veneers are thin coatings of porcelain that are put to the outside of your teeth to conceal a range of imperfections.


Extrinsic stains appear on a tooth’s surface and are caused by ingesting foods and beverages containing pigments, such as coffee, tea, and caramel colouring. Smoking can also cause extrinsic stains, also referred to as tar stains. Extrinsic stains can usually be polished and/or bleached away. 

Demineralization caused by acidic food consumption and poor dental hygiene can roughen tooth enamel and make it more prone to staining. It may also make the stains more difficult to remove. 


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